Title: Vice Chairman
Company: Raymond James Financial, Inc.
Location: Tierra Verde, Florida, United States
Francis Godbold, Vice Chairman of Raymond James Financial, Inc., has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Executives for dedication, achievements, and leadership in investment banking and business administration.
Associated with Raymond James Financial Inc. for 51 incredible years, Mr. Godbold originally served as a vice president in the company’s Florida headquarters office in 1969. He later held the titles of senior vice president, executive vice president and then served as its president for 15 years. Furthermore, since 2002, he has maintained activity as vice chairman. He has also been active as a member of the firm’s board of directors since 1977 and on the board of Raymond James Bank since its inception in 1994. During his tenure, Mr. Godbold was instrumental to the growth of the organization, which has increased in annual revenues from $1 million to $8 billion dollars. More dramatically, its shareholders value has increased over 25,000 times from under one half million dollars to $13 billion over this same time period.
Established in 1962, Raymond James Financial is a multinational independent investment bank, which provides financial services to individuals, corporations and municipalities through its subsidiary companies. Said companies engage primarily in investment and financial planning, as well as banking and asset management. Mr. Godbold’s success as an investment banker and security firm executive has led him to serve on the regional firm’s advisory committee of the New York Stock Exchange between 1990 and 1993.
In his local community, Mr. Godbold played an instrumental role in various educational initiatives, particularly as a member and past president of the Lakewood High School Parent Action Committee, a past president of the Baypoint Middle School Parent Action Committee and a board member of Academy Prep. He was also honored to serve as the chairman of the 50th reunion at Georgia Institute of Technology. Moreover, he established the Godbold Family Scholarships at Georgia Tech in 2000, continues to serve as a trustee of the Georgia Tech Foundation, Inc. since 2003, and founded the Sunshine Opportunity Scholarships in 2019. Through all of these scholarship initiatives, he has been able to help over 175 students attend college. Other roles to his credit include his service on the board of directors of the Banner Elk Heritage Foundation and as a past president and chairman of the finance committee of the Elk River Properties Owners Association.
Orphaned at the early age of 13, it was necessary for him to move to another town and live with an elderly aunt and uncle. At this difficult stage of his life, in addition to excelling academically, he was active in the Boy Scouts of America, earning his Eagle Scout Award, God and Country Award, and Order of the Arrow. He later served as a Scoutmaster from 1966-67.
Being of very modest means, his only avenue to college was earning a full four-year academic scholarship to Georgia Tech. He excelled there, graduating with honor, a degree of Bachelor of Industrial Engineering and earning induction into the academic honorary societies of Tau Beta Pi, Phi Kappa Phi, and Alpha Pi Mu. He also was in the social fraternity of Phi Delta Theta and a member of the Rambling ‘Reck Club.
Following Georgia Tech, he served as an officer on active duty in the U.S. Army between 1965 and 1967. Mr. Godbold subsequently attended the prestigious Harvard University, where he acquired a Master of Business Administration in 1969.
Aligned with several professional organizations, Mr. Godbold held numerous roles with the Securities Industry Association, including at various times as the chairman of its Southern District and its Regional Firms Committee plus a member of its tax committee, nominating committee and its national board of directors. He is a past board member of the Georgia Tech Alumni Association, and the past president of the Harvard Club of West Coast Florida. Named to the Georgia Institute of Technology Hall of Fame in 2020, he was previously the recipient of the Joseph Mayo Pettit Distinguished Service Award in 2016 and recognized as a Distinguished Engineering Alumni in 1997. Prior to earning these accolades, Mr. Godbold was bestowed with several awards from Raymond James Financial, particularly an Image Maker Award in 1972, acknowledgment as Man of the Year in 1978, and a Real Estate Performance Award in 1981. Recently he conceived of and contributed the funding necessary for the creation of four life-sized statues erected at strategic locations on the Georgia Tech campus commemorating its first African-American matriculants in 1961 and its first African- American graduate in 1965. Subsequently, one of these students died and he created a new scholarship in his memory at Georgia Tech.
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